Monday, February 2, 2015

Warner Brothers Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter *SPOILERS*

If you're planning a visit to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in London and fancy a wee insight about what to expect then please do keep reading. I will give you some handy hints and tips which I picked up during my visit and share some of my own pictures from our recent visit.

If however, you don't to know what to expect then please stop reading now!

So, first of all, I should preface by saying my lovely little sister bought me two gift tickets for Christmas. Before we were able to go, we had to pre-book our tickets (TIP: Make sure you pre-book your tickets, you cannot just turn up on the day and expect to get in!!) so we had a look online and saw that until the 1st February, they were doing Hogwarts in the Snow.

This meant that the Hogwarts Castle would be covered in snow, the Great Hall would be decorated for Christmas with Christmas trees and their would be seasonal feasts lining the tables. We'd also be able to see the hand-knitted jumpers that Mrs Weasley gave Ron and Harry for Christmas in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Before you book your trip, it's well worth checking online to see what's on, in March, the Hogwarts Express will be paying a visit to the studio which sounds pretty exciting!
We pre-booked our tour to start at 11:30 (TIP: the website says to get there 20 minutes before your tour starts) and decided the best way to get there was to hop on a train from Euston to Watford Junction, the train cost about £10 ish return for each of us. 
From Watford Junction you get a shuttle bus to the Studio which costs £2 for a return ticket, they don't tell you this and I stupidly binned my ticket and had to pay another £2 to get back to the train station. The driver wasn't having my excuse of "look I've lost my ticket but how else do you think I got here??" so please put your ticket somewhere safe. The buses are fairly frequent and leave every 10 minutes or so.
The bus trip was about 10 minutes tops and when you arrive, there are some little tickets machines to the right of the main doors where you can grab your ticket to get in. If you have a voucher for a Souvenir Guide, you'll need to pick this up from the Information Desk inside. They recommend doing this after the tour but I grabbed mine before as I knew I'd forget to pick it up before I left.
Once inside, there's a large cafe to the left, the gift shop is to the right and there's a cloakroom for storing any large suitcases/pushchairs or generally anything you don't want to lug around with you. As the tour was fairly quiet, we were told we could start our tour early and so happily joined the queue.
There are some bits and pieces to look at while you're queuing, so don't worry you won't get bored. I'd strongly recommend nipping to the ladies/gents before you start as there isn't another one for a little while. Once you're in, there's a couple of movies which you'll watch with everyone, and a pretty cool cinema section. Then it's on to the Great Hall.
The Great Hall and Cinema Section are the only aspects of the tour which are guided, the rest you can do at your own pace. There are two 'lots' the J Stage and K stage, in the middle of the tour, there's the Back Lot which is where you can buy the famous Butterbeer and take break for lunch (TIP: It took Ad and I around 3 1/2 hours with lunch, so leave yourself a good 3 hours at least to enjoy the whole experience.)
All of your favourite bits and pieces are available to view, and there's even the opportunity to ride a broomstick or have a go in Ron's little blue car. Rather than setting everything out blow by blow, I thought I'd just pop some pictures below for your viewing pleasure, including some of the extra bits which were about for Hogwarts in the Snow.
 Just some of the wigs used.
 The Ministry Of Magic Fireplaces.
 Someone's very pink office!
 Some gorgeous artifacts used in the movies.
 The lovely knitting skills of Mrs Weasley.
The Gryffindor boys dormitory. 
Sipping a Butterbeer.
 Just wandering about on Set.
 The Knight Bus
Privet Drive
 The Basilisk
 Hanging about in Diagon Alley.
 The Hogwarts Castle
An edible momento.

I hope you enjoyed my sneak peek and that some of my tips prove to be helpful in arranging your own visit to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour.


  1. How very exciting! This absolutely made my morning! I am a Harry Potter fanatic. I started reading the books in 8th grade when they first came out, and I've been to every book and movie launch since. I often pop in the movies to put me to sleep. They're comforting.

    I've been wanting to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter here in Orlando, but it's quite a drive (and very pricy!). Your Warner Brothers Studio Tour sounds even better. I'd love the behind the scenes glimpse into the film-making. Thank you so much for sharing this! I loved touring the studio with you and getting these little glimpses into the Harry Potter movies. And as much as I hate Umbridge, I do appreciate her love of pink!

    <3 Liz

  2. I read all the books when they first came out as well! I've got a fair few first editions lurking around our flat. I'm sure you've seen the barrage of photos on my Facebook as well, Ad and I got a little bit snap happy!

    I've always wanted to go to Orlando to do Disney World and the like, but as you say it's so expensive, 5 days at Disney World cost about £2,700 including flights!!!

    Luckily the Warner Brothers Tour is actually pretty reasonable, I think it works out at around £30 each but I'm not 100% sure as my sister bought me tickets for Christmas :)

    The tour really was amazing, we loved every minute! Like you, I find all the behind the scenes bits and pieces really interesting and the sets were incredible, I just didn't appreciate all the man hours which goes into those sorts of things!!

    Laura xx


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